During the late 18th century, towering hairstyles were in vogue. Wealthy women piled layers of padding and hairpieces on top of their heads, and decorated the masses with colored powders and trinkets. These complex arrangements were often glued into place with sticky pig fat pastes. The more elaborate the hairstyle, the more it signified that its wearer was a woman of leisure, as she could afford to have a professional stylist or a skilled maid on her payroll.
Over at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s website, you can learn more about the period’s stupendous—and slightly silly—hairstyles for women with its nifty Design a Wig feature. The interactive game lets you create your own 18th century 'do. Decide how high and elaborate you want it to be, and add fans, feathers, and flowers before dusting it off with a colored powder. With one click, you can share your creation with the world—a much easier way to show off your discerning sense of style than actually having to don the impractical look yourself.
[h/t Victoria & Albert Museum]